Frequently asked questions for those seeking a Service Academy Nomination:
What is a nomination?
Members of Congress may nominate applicants who meet the eligibility requirements established by law. A candidate may seek a nomination from the following:
- A member of the U.S. House of Representatives who represents the congressional district in which the candidate resides
- Both U.S. Senators from his or her state
- The Vice-President of the United States
What are the basic eligibility requirements?
Each applicant for a nomination must meet the following eligibility requirements as of July 1st of the year of admission to an academy:
- Age: Be at least 17 years old, but not have passed the 23rd birthday
- Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen
- Marital Status: Must be unmarried, not pregnant, and without legal obligation to support children or other dependents
- Residence: Must reside within the boundaries of South Carolina
- Skill/Fitness: Must meet the medical, physical, and academic requirements of the Academy
When do I apply for a nomination?
My nomination application period opens in June of each year for those candidates who are high school juniors and will be seniors the following school year, or who have already graduated.
What is the deadline for completing a nomination file?
The firm deadline for submitting an application and official scores and transcripts is 11:59PM on October 13, 2023.
What must be included in my nomination file?
A complete nomination file consists of the following items:
- Completed online application
- The online application requires two essays, resume, and athletic & extracurricular activities.
- Official high school transcript
- Official college transcript, if applicable
- Official SAT and/or ACT score reports
- Three letters of recommendation
What happens after I have completed my nomination file?
Once you have submitted all of your application materials, the Service Academy Coordinator will contact you to schedule an interview with my Service Academy Board, which is comprised of military dignitaries and community leaders. The interviews will take place after the October application deadline. Your interview will take place in Charleston, Columbia, or Greenville.
What criteria are used in selecting candidates?
Nominations are based on a “whole person” evaluation. Factors such as academic achievements, extra-curricular activities, leadership skills, physical aptitude, your interview, character and motivation are taken into consideration and compared with other applicants.
How many applications does your office receive each year?
My office generally receives between 100 and 200 applications each year.
How many academies are there?
There are five service academies.
Three reside within the Department of Defense:
- U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York
- U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland
- U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs
One resides within the Department of Transportation:
- U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York
One resides within the Department of Homeland Security:
- U.S. Coast Guard Academy at New London, Connecticut
Are the requirements the same for all of the service academies?
No. Although many of the qualifications are similar, each academy operates under its own admissions guidelines. Visit the academy of your choice via the websites noted for each academy’s particular admissions qualifications. It is not necessary to seek a nomination to the Coast Guard Academy, as the USCGA accepts candidates based on their own testing criteria.
Do I need to contact the Academy, or is the application to Senator Scott’s office sufficient?
Make sure you contact the academy of your choice and request a catalog and other material regarding admission requirements. Each academy has its own application, which must be filled out by prospective candidates.
Who should I ask to write a letter of recommendation on my behalf?
Some of the people applicants typically seek recommendations from include:
- Scout Leaders
A specific recommendation form is not required. A letter of recommendation is sufficient.
Will I automatically be selected by the academy if I receive a nomination?
No. You will be placed among a select group of nominees, and the academy of your choice will make the final decision. If selected, you will receive an offer of admission (an appointment) directly from the academy.
What if I choose more than one academy? Will I be limited to a single nomination?
No. You can be nominated to multiple academies depending on how well you have competed among this year’s pool of candidates. It is also possible to win multiple appointments.
When will I know if I have been offered an appointment by an academy?
Academies will begin to notify candidates of their admission status in February. All offers of appointment are generally sent out by May.
If there are questions regarding the application process, should the applicant or the parent/guardian make contact with Senator Scott’s office?
It is very important that the applicant for nomination, not their parent or guardian, complete the application and contact my office if there are any questions regarding the process.
Will my name be released to the media if I receive a nomination from Senator Scott?
Yes. By completing an application, you agree for your name to be included in a press release noting Senator Scott’s nomination selections.